Monday, January 23, 2017

The Sum Of Our Ambitions

One large mistake we see over and over again are curves that have points or sudden dips within them.  It may not seem like much while you are making your window but when it's finished those errors always draw attention away from the window and straight to the problem.  The top curve is perfect and smooth but the bottom one has points all over the place.  To fix these all you have to do is gently touch the point to the grinder wheel.  DON'T GRIND THE ENTIRE PIECE!  Only grind the 'high' spots.  Once you've learned how to identify these problem areas you'll find yourself fixing them automatically before your piece ever leaves the grinder.

Can you spot the two points that I didn't put red arrows above in the example below?  Kudos to you if you can!

Well, Sheri completed her Peacock Window and she's done another magnificent job.  She worries about her soldering but it's far better than anything you would find on stained glass you see in stores nowadays.  With light behind the window you can see how nicely her colors blend together.  What Sheri considered to be a brilliant orange is a much more natural color now that it's back lit. 

Cindy completed her Geometric window and will have delivered it to its owner by the time you read about this.  She's been working on orders left and right with no end in sight and you'll see what she's working on next when we return next week.

Our newest student is Tracey and she made her butterfly this week.   This is a standard project that we insist all new students make so they can see exactly what they'll be doing for the next few weeks as they begin working on their 'real' project.   Tracey's butterfly is beautiful and I'm sure we'll be seeing great things from her in the weeks to come.

Carol finished this window which prominently features dichroic bevels.  Matching the border to the glass that she trimmed the bevel cluster with was easily the way to go on this project.   And when she picked out that color for the bevel trim she made sure it matched the colored sections of the bevel.  It wasn't washed yet before she left so perhaps we'll get a real finished picture of this window next week.

It appears that Myrt is adding another Cardinal to her Cardinal Window, this one being a female.  She has the background sketched out (with some help from Terry) and will decide on a final size and extend he sketch outward when she returns.  She's got a lot cut and ground already so she's doing great on this project. 

Tasha started working on a second Owl this week but decided to use a different pattern for this one.  She's done wonderful work on this and moved along so quickly and efficiently that she only has to wrap this and then solder it together to finish it.  That's great work right there!

Rowena's Olivia Window is all cut out save for the two end pieces that bracket the letters.  She plans on using bevels for an inner border so size is critical here.   The way to make sizing this easy is to grind, wrap and tack the center section before cutting the first and last pieces.  By doing it this way we'll be able to adjust the width of the final pieces to ensure a perfect fit between the bevels that will form the inner border.

Lara started cutting the glass for her Louisiana Parishes Window and has gone through about a third of the state already!  the random colors are really going to make this window stand out nicely and she's doing a phenomenal job with this already. 

Linda F has begun making a Mardi Gras Mask and has a good portion of it cut out already.   She'll be making this as a window rather than a sun catcher so she's got some background glass involved with this piece.  She'll be adding wire work to this when it's completed and I can't wait to see her experience how easily that goes together.

Next up there's Terry who resumed work on her Butterfly Window.   She had it completed during the week but ended up making drastic changes to her pattern when she discovered that although it looked great on paper, the butterfly's legs looked muscle bound.  That prompted Terry to redraw the bottom section of this window.  She was able to get the newly designed bottom  cut out and mostly ground while she was in class.  Excellent.

Jan began a new project this week and knocked the ball right out of the park working on it.  She traced out her pattern and then picked out all of the colors for this Baseball Field Window.  By the end of the night she had most of her window cut out!  She's certainly making quick work of this and I can easily say that the rest of this window will be a piece of cake for her.

Lynn M is wrapping all of the glass in her Tree Of Life Window and has a great deal done.  There's even a good chance that she'll have the rest of her pieces foiled next week and then she'll get to decide what she wants to do for her border.  

Barbara H started working on this beveled Fleur De Lis window and she's another student who made great progress on her project this week.  In just one evening she has this window almost ready for its borders!   She's taken these pieces along home with her to wrap so we should easily see another large chunk of work done on this when she returns.

Becky S has filled in the last missing piece in her Tulips In A Vase Window and that means that she's ready to begin soldering this.   Once the front side is completely soldered we'll add a zinc channel to it and before you know it this will be completed.


Linda L continued grinding her latest Mickey Mouse Window and he's all cut and ground.  Since there's no way to put a square on this window she hasn't cut out her background pieces.  That will be done when she tacks this together so we can be sure that everything lines up to the circle drawn on the pattern.


Shelley's Three Legged Cat Window is all cut and ground now so she's moved along to the foiling process.   It's not often I can say that something 100% original comes out of our shop but I think this may very well be the first three legged cat stained glass window ever made.

So then, Betty has officially cut out and wrapped all of the glass for her Fleur De Lis Window and has begun the tacking process (you can see the silver lead in the upper center section).  Since she is using  a lot of glass that is completely covered in lead she has to get the front side completely tacked ASAP or the foil runs the risk of tarnishing.  This is a natural reaction between copper and flux and one that presents many problems if we allow it to happen.  Minimal flux is always the rule when prepping any window for solder.

Jeannette finished grinding the center number section of her House Numbers Window and then got it all wrapped and tacked together.  Then she added the top and bottom background pieces and a final border.  Then, before class was over, she tacked it all together!  Whew!  She'll be soldering this when she comes back in.

Bonnie is currently working on six Angel Suncatchers and has them all cut out and ground already.  She's taken them home to wrap and she'll be soldering these before you know it.

Brenda had seen Linda F's Mardi Gras Mask Pattern hanging on the wall and drew up her own version of it.   She symmetrified it, added a ton more feathers to the top and came up with what you see.  It's a great conversion and its very much how I do a lot of designs that I need to draw for our students.  

Jeanne has started working on two Beveled Cross suncatchers and has learned a shortcut for making these.  Rather than cutting out eight separate pieces for the 'arms' she's cut four and then split them in half to form the four extremities of the cross.  This makes for much easier fitting and a grain pattern the flows evenly across each arm perfectly.  Looking good!

Martha got all of her textured clear glass cross cut out and ground so she's ready to begin wrapping her pieces.  I love the look of this cross-- the clears give it a nice elegant look.


Susan R came in a continued working on her Christmas Noel Panel.  After cutting out the missing pieces of her glass she then ground and wrapped everything.  Before she left class she even had it tacked together.   Get ready for a Noel in January next week!  (Note the publication date on the bottom right of the pattern-- it's 40 years old!)

This week I somehow managed to forget to take a picture of Mary Grace's Double Flower Window. She had to re-cut two flower petals for a better fit and then cut out all of the leaves and background glass so she can grind everything again each other and eliminate any future problems like she had with the petals.  It's a learning experience and in the end Mary Grace is the winner because she walks away from this project learning that you should never grind as you go. 

Bayou Salé GlassWorks

No comments: